It's that time of year again in Baltimore. The time of year when sports fans turn their back on baseball, and another dismal Orioles season, to focus on the only team in town that actually has a chance of winning a major sports championship.
Naturally, I am talking about the Baltimore Ravens, and the upcoming NFL season. Football frenzy has officially begun in the beardy household. Fantasy mags are strewn across the living room, and the draft for my first of 3 fantasy teams is tonight.
I don't want anyone to think my love for the Orioles has waned, because it hasn't by any means. It's just that every year for the last decade or so, I have known that the Orioles were toast by the All-Star break, and it gets a little depressing to keep watching your team lose series after series. While this season did have it's glimpses of the future, with all the young talent that has been brought up to the bigs, the results aren't there yet, and I don't think they're expected to be either.
Just like every season, I will hope that the next one will be better... but will it really? The young Orioles have a great young base, with Markakis, Jones, and the plethora of young guns that debuted this season. What they need is a leader, and a middle of the order anchor. I encourage Andy McPhail to sign a few veterans in the off season, and find someone to lead this young team to the promised land. I think one of the hardest things to overcome will be the culture of losing that has existed in Baltimore since the late '90s. How about a true top of the rotation pitcher? How about a power hitting first baseman? How about a high energy, sparkplug type of guy who is around only because of what he can do for the clubhouse?
There were times this year where I could see the forest through the trees, and things looked to be coming together. Everyone always says "wait till next year" (especially in Chicago), and this Orioles fan has been left with no choice but to do exactly that.
At least I get to watch a competitive team for the next 5 months.
TTM Success - Joe Cunningham
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